Govt eyes 30% efficiency in ICT investment through ‘network sharing’

Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara has estimated that active network sharing – the hotly debated government plan to require telecommunication providers share their networks and frequency — may save around 30 percent of the operator’s investment costs.

To reach the 2019 target of becoming the second-fastest internet speed country in Southeast Asia, Indonesia needs an additional US$10 billion investment for mobile and broadband networks. With active network sharing, the amount can be reduced to $7 billion, the minister said.

“The spirit is to be efficient, and network sharing is the most efficient option available,” he told The Jakarta Post at Indonesia Fintech Festival & Conference in Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) Serpong, Tangerang, on Tuesday.

Without network sharing, Rudiantara continued, it would take at least five years to enjoy the investment in network development spent this year as the construction of information and technology infrastructure usually began five years after the license was issued.

However, the plan has been heavily objected to. Telkom is among the most outspoken parties opposing the idea, as the state-owned telecommunication provider currently operates the largest infrastructure. “If the task is given to Telkom, they can do it. But they will not pay dividends as they need to put that $10 billion into equity,” Rudiantara argued.

In its latest statement, Telkom labor federation chairman Wisnu Adhi Wuryanto said Telkomsel could score Rp 800 billion ($60.29 million) of potential losses per month as the interconnection fee, paid by customers during a phone call to the user of another operator, would be cut as the consequence of network sharing. (ags)

Source: The Jakarta Post. Date: August 30 2016